With a Chuckle, Daily News Calls for Life-Saving Traffic Tech

We appreciate that the Daily News on Tuesday editorialized in favor of traffic-calming, life-saving traffic cameras. But we don’t understand the paper’s attempt at levity in its recounting of the city’s latest fatality data. Here’s a sample:

Bicyclists showed the biggest improvement in staying alive. They were killed in traffic 80% less last year than the year before.

Would the News crack jokes about murder rates? How about fire deaths? Rapes? Of course not.

Beyond the poor taste on display here, there is no meaningful analysis to back up the call for automated enforcement. For example, there’s the obligatory anecdotal swipe about cyclists disobeying traffic laws,
but nothing about the thousands of motorist infractions that go
unpunished every day throughout the city.

There is no mention that red light cameras are already saving lives and reducing injuries right here in New York, that speed cameras in other areas are hugely effective, or that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has studied automated enforcement and found that it works. And if News editors really wanted to dig in, they could harangue NYPD for withholding vital information on why deadly crashes happen.

Wondering why local media aren’t demanding answers from Ray Kelly about the death of Karen Schmeer? Consider this half-hearted drivel Exhibit A.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

An Open Letter to Daily News Deputy Editor Arthur Browne

|
We noticed you’ve taken an interest in traffic injuries lately. This is a welcome development. Tens of thousands of New Yorkers are hurt in traffic every year, many of them seriously. Well over 200 are killed annually. Most of these crashes get little to no attention from police, much less the media. So it’s encouraging […]

Victim’s Family to NYPD: Tell Us What Happened to Our Son

|
The family of Mathieu Lefevre, the 30-year-old artist killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike in East Williamsburg last week, was joined by dozens of supporters outside 1 Police Plaza today to demand that NYPD rein in deadly driving and end its policy of silence when it comes to fatal traffic crashes. Paul […]

Mike Bloomberg’s NYPD Traffic Enforcement Blind Spot

|
It’s not for nothing that Michael Bloomberg is known as a champion of traffic safety. He has given millions to reduce global road deaths, and the life-saving innovations that have become the hallmark of his DOT are setting the pace for cities across the U.S. This makes the mayor’s refusal to acknowledge NYPD’s traffic enforcement […]

The Iris Weinshall Legacy: Queens Boulevard

|
"What became clear to me in this discussion was that the engineers were thinking from the motorists’ viewpoint."  — Iris Weinshall, New York Newsday, April 29, 2001   A long walk across Queens Blvd. at Grand Ave., Elmhurst, circa March 2001. Photo: Jeff Saltzman Departing Department of Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall often cites the pedestrian […]